I was watching Loose Women yesterday when they announced a news item to discuss, "Are small dogs more aggressive?"
The University of Helsinki have recently done a study on "How small dogs are the most aggressive". Researchers collected data on over 13,715 dogs across the world through an online questionnaire and over 9000 dogs and owners were picked for the study.
They found that the fearful and anxious dogs that did not live with other dogs were more likely to show aggression towards people. Small, old, male dogs belonging to first time dog owners were more likely to attack people and that dogs that lived alone without a mate had higher aggression.
Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers were judged to be the most friendly, with Staffordshire Bull Terriers also among the least aggressive, despite them being a restricted breed in some countries. A big burly Bull Terrier may look more frightening but you're more likely to be attacked by a Miniature Poodle or Chihuahua, the study claims.
German Shepherds which are often used to work with the police also had high levels of aggression, as did the tiny Toy Crested breed.
Owners of small dogs may not always seek the help of a dog behaviorist because they can easily deal with a small dog and it seems less threatening. But if you have had the same threat or behavior from a bigger dog like a German Shepherd or a Staffy the threat and the perception of danger is greater.
Small dogs are given far less respect for their space and their emotions than bigger dogs. They are more likely to lash out, they also tend to be less obedient and less well trained. Smaller dogs feel more scared so they always try to protect themselves.
The most aggressive breed was 1. Rough Collie, 2. Miniature Poodle, 3. Miniature Schnauzer, 4. German Shepherd, 5. Spanish Water Dog.
Least aggressive breed is 1. Labrador Retriever, 2. Golden Retriever, 3. Lapponian Herder, 4. Shetland Sheepdog, 5. Staffordshire Bull Terrier.
I know first hand at the difficulties of having a fearful and anxious dog. I have an anxious and reactive Cocker Spaniel called Bella. Bella always wears yellow so people give her space #dogsinyellow. I know better than to try and pet a strangers dog and I can recognise the signs when a dog is distressed and anxious.
If you have an anxious or reactive dog then come and join our #yellowarmy and let people know that your dog is anxious and needs space.